We tend to associate our mistakes with all of the shame, regret, and remorse we felt when we first committed them, the same emotions we can’t seem to let go of after years of trying, unsuccessfully, to forgive ourselves. We think of our mistakes as evidence of our failures and as defects in our moral character. We allow our mistakes to make us feel inadequate, unworthy, disappointed in ourselves, ashamed and embarrassed. Because of the way we perceive our mistakes, we often lose out on receiving the massive wisdom to be gained from exploring them in more depth. We miss out on valuable opportunities for growth, personal development, and transformational expansion. What can we learn from our mistakes?
When we don’t analyze our mistakes, many of us tend to repeat them over and over again, living out recurring cycles of struggle and hardship, and causing ourselves years of pain. Our mistakes have within them invaluable lessons we stand to learn so much from. Examining our mistakes teaches us more about ourselves and who we are as unique individuals, what our needs and desires are in life, and what we must do for ourselves in order to be happy, healthy and whole. They teach us where we need healing, where we need to direct conscious energy in order to heal the wounds within us we haven’t yet addressed. They teach us what works for us in our lives, and what doesn’t. They show us where we’ve gone off track in our lives, and how to realign ourselves with the truth of who we are. They give us valuable life instructions and show us what things serve and empower us, and what things hinder us and hold us back.
Our mistakes are not things to be feared and resisted. The more we reject them and refuse to look at them, the more we will repeat them, continuing our patterns endlessly due to a lack of mindfulness. When we can face them head-on and accept that we are human and that we all make mistakes and do things we might regret, we can put an end to the patterns that have been fueling our self-destructiveness. We can shed the habits that are toxic to our well-being. We can begin to address the hurts that are contributing to our addictions.
Facing our mistakes requires we shed the denial, avoidance, suppression and other coping mechanisms we’ve been using to try and protect ourselves. We want to affirm to ourselves that we are strong enough to confront our mistakes and by facing them, we are taking back the power they’ve held over us for so long. We’re committing to making necessary changes in our lives, and one of the most crucial steps in doing this is being able to finally admit our mistakes so that we can explore them more fully and learn from them, empowering ourselves immeasurably in the recovery process.
The community of Riverside Recovery has personal experience with addiction and recovery. We’re here to help you reclaim the life you love. Call (800) 871-5440 today.